Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive





March 2014


Here we are again, happy as can be what with all the rain, but we have had some sunshine at last. On Tuesday 25 February, 7 of us made our way to The Keep just by Falmer and the football stadium. It’s easy to find, just after you take the A270 turning towards Brighton and turn off at Stanmer Park avoiding Southern Waters offices and just before the railway arch turn left following the large The Keep signs. Parking is free at the moment. Let’s skip to the positives after the signing in delays and say that we eventually managed to get a significant amount of the Births, Baptisms, Marriages and other useful records. These will be transcribed in due course, as time and volunteers (ahem, that could be YOU) allow. We have another group going on Tuesday 4th March with confirmed booking of the “glass room” but take both food and drink with you.


March 4th     Visit to East Sussex Records Office – contact Jan C

March 20th   Talk by Ian Everest “Sussex during the First World War”

April 17th      Annual General Meeting followed by talk by John Cheshire on "Extracts from the Photo Collection of Cyril      

                     Wells and the Molly Hodgkinson Scrapbooks/Albums"

May 15th       Talk on Farming in the Ninfield Area

June 19th      Talk on 70th Anniversary of D Day and the V1 Campaign over Sussex (Provisional – Tell us of your  


July 17th        Details to be confirmed in next newsletter


The February meeting was entertained by Jan C and Liz giving a very detailed tour of the old village shops and businesses. It was staggering to realise that before public and personal transport was widely available each village was virtually self supporting for everything necessary for normal activities. Only specialised services meant a journey out of the village, but virtually from birth to death, someone in the village could find a way to provide it. The impact of personal transport really hit home when so many businesses just went out of existence after many generations, simply because people could get to supermarkets and surrounding towns to do their shopping, often because if it came from elsewhere it was either cheaper or somehow “better”. Now we just have the village shop and people don’t realise that they need to charge a little more, simply for the convenience of it being within walking distance. To many of the elderly, it is an important lifeline, so use it or lose it, as has happened too many times before.


Chairman Rod welcomed everyone to the meeting, then ran through the routine aspects and notices and also informed everyone that the NLHG were looking to enter our own float for the Carnival, the second weekend in July. Carnival Offers of help will be most appreciated! If you would like to be involved with costumes, designing the float or helping man our stall, please contact, please contact Rod.


HELP WITH FAMILY HISTORY. Our group has a large set of records available including Census Records from 1841 through to 1911 and Burial Records from 1700 -1715, 1813-1878 and 1916-1965. We also have access to online Birth and Marriage records. If you are interested in finding out more about past residents of Ninfield/ ancestors but don’t have internet access please get in touch. We are offering a free!! searching service. Contact John for more details.


Liz is also working on putting the talk on Ninfield Shops and Businesses into a booklet.

If you would like to visit The Keep, the next visit is Tuesday 4th March, please contact Jan Cooper. It is likely we will be going again later in 2014.


John Cheshire and Kevin went to visit with May Jackson (who is fast approaching her 91st birthday) and spent an enjoyable morning reminiscing about her wartime and family memories. You may have seen the recent article in the Bexhill Observer (or on their website) detailing their wartime romance which was halted by her Canadian beau being sent abroad to fight and she never saw him again until a few years ago. We were able to not only give her a better print of the article but found the obituary notice of his recent death, together with a wartime photo of him she had never seen. It’s things like that which make history become alive and shows how useful research can be. We also have details of her relatives who fought in WW1.


Corinne announced that we had gained another new member signing up that evening, so a warm welcome awaits and we hope to welcome many more. In addition, we have several publications on sale; the Village Historical Walks, the Village Map (in various convenient sizes), Ninfield School in WW2, Ninfields Oldest Houses and (hopefully of more interest in the Centenary year) the Roll of Honour, packed with 60 pages of information about those with links to Ninfield who died during the First World War. If you have any information regarding any of those detailed in the booklet, especially photographs or medals. We want your help to update the booklet with photos or family reminiscences of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. All these booklets are moderately priced and sales will help keep our accounts in the black! Please contact Jan Cooper if you want to order any of our publications.


With all the publicity and interest in WW1 centenary, many people will start to look into any relatives who served, but don’t know how to go about it. If so, contact Kevin and he’ll help steer you through the maze! 2014 is also the 75th Anniversary of the start of WW2, the 70th Anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandy, and the V1 flying bomb campaign. 12 Ninfield related people died in WW2. If you have local information or need help, contact Kevin.


There were thriving Clubs and Societies in the village previously, and we’d like to document all the Societies so that we can trace those involved as part of an ongoing project. Do you have photos or any memorabilia relating to them?

Don’t forget to visit our website at as we are constantly putting on more information. We also have a facebook page to keep in touch!

NEXT MEETING: 7: 30 pm 20th March at the Methodist Hall